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Persistence paid off for Anthony Hernandez.
The former Legacy Fighting Alliance titleholder overcame a slow start to plant his flag in the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s middleweight division, as he submitted Jun Yong Park with an anaconda choke in the second round of their featured UFC Fight Night 157 prelim on Saturday at the Shenzhen Universiade Sports Centre in Shenzhen, China. Park (9-4, 0-1 UFC) bowed out 4:39 into Round 2, his six-fight winning streak having run its course.
Hernandez (8-1, 1-1 UFC) was met with fierce resistance, as the Korean Top Team export had him reeling with punches on more than one occasion. However, the Dana White’s Contender Series alum altered his approach, pushed for takedowns and eventually secured a dominant position in the second round. Hernandez applied his ground-and-pound, then transitioned from a guillotine to the anaconda choke for the tapout.
Revitalized Mudaerji Dominates Soukhamthath
A dazzling array of kicks, darting punches and perpetual circular motion spurred Enbo Gedou standout Su Mudaerji to a unanimous decision over former CES MMA champion Andre Soukhamthath in a three-round bantamweight tilt. All three cageside judges scored it for Mudaerji (10-4, 1-1 UFC): 30-26, 30-26 and 30-25.
Soukhamthath’s uphill climb grew even steeper after the first round, as the American Top Team rep informed his corner that he had injured his left hand. Muderji was merciless, as he swooped in and out with accurate punches and hammered the body with kicks. He did his best work in Round 3, where he caught a kick from Soukhamthath (13-8, 2-5 UFC), swept him off his feet and overwhelmed him with ground-and-pound, alternating between half guard, full guard and a standing position.
The win put a stop to Mudaerji’s two-fight losing streak.
Jung Guillotine Subdues Ibragimov
Korean Top Team’s Da Un Jung submitted onetime M-1 Global champion Khadis Ibragimov with a standing guillotine choke in the third round of their encounter at 205 pounds. A short-notice substitution for Jamahal Hill, Ibragimov (8-1, 0-1 UFC) conceded defeat 2:00 into Round 3.
Jung (12-2, 1-0 UFC) met with early adversity. Ibragimov unleashed a maniacal barrage of hooks and uppercuts inside the first minute in a bid to author a spectacular finish. However, he paid a price for his efforts. By the start of the second round, Ibragimov was running on empty and had lost control of the bout. Jung zeroed in on a cut near the Sambo Piter representative’s left eye, cut loose with clean combinations and incorporated close-quarters knees to the body and head. An increasingly desperate and weary Ibragimov worked for a takedown in Round 3, left his neck exposed and wandered into the fight-ending guillotine.
The 31-year-old Jung has won 11 fights in a row.
Ismagulov Downs Moises, Extends Streak
Biting leg kicks, body-head combinations and airtight takedown defense carried former M-1 Global champion Damir Ismagulov to a unanimous decision over American Top Team’s Thiago Moises in a three-round lightweight pairing. Ismagulov swept the scorecards with 30-26, 30-27 and 30-27 marks from the judges.
Moises (12-4, 1-2 UFC) tried and ultimately failed to find his way. Ismagulov (19-1, 3-0 UFC) chewed up the Brazilian’s lead leg with inside and outside kicks, floored him with a stiff jab in the first round and kept him at bay with a variety of attacks, exploiting his reach advantage while utilizing everything from counter right hands to jumping body kicks.
Ismagulov, 28, now finds himself on a run of 14 consecutive victories.
Surging Alateng Sinks Batgerel
One Championship alum Heili Alateng won for the third time in as many appearances, as he laid claim to a unanimous decision over Danaa Batgerel in a three-round bantamweight affair. All three cageside judges arrived at the same verdict: 29-27 for Alateng (13-7-1, 1-0 UFC), who has compiled a 9-1-1 mark across his last 11 outings.
Batgerel (6-2, 0-1 UFC) was the aggressor for much of the match but could not match his counterpart’s firepower. Alateng cut loose with basic two-punch combinations, hiding a powerful right hand behind a crisp jab. The 27-year-old Burigude export left significant damage on Batgerel’s right eye and the bridge of his nose, then consolidated his efforts on the feet with a pair of third-round takedowns and ground-and-pound.
The loss snapped Batgerel’s two-fight winning streak.
Rosa Outduels Unbeaten Procopio
Parana Vale Tudo prospect Karol Rosa made a successful promotional debut, as she eked out a split decision over former Shooto Brazil champion Lara Fritzen Procopio in a three-round women’s bantamweight clash. Judges Garth Harriman and Howard Hughes scored it 29-28 and 30-27 for Rosa, while Albert Shen saw it 29-28 for Procopio.
Rosa (12-3, 1-0 UFC) leaned on a steady jab, supplemented her attack with leg kicks and struck in combination, often firing two, three and four punches at a time. She buckled Procopio (6-1, 0-1 UFC) with a counter right hand in the first round and sat her down with a winging right hook in the third. Neither woman paid much attention to defense. Procopio had her moments, but the Nova Uniao-trained Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt was outgunned in many of the standup exchanges and failed in her attempts to get the fight to the ground.
The 24-year-old Rosa has rattled off three straight wins.